Improvements made, tax incentive approved for Homewood property


The Homewood Village Board approved a Class 8 tax designation Tuesday for a Shell gas station and strip mall at the intersection of Ridge Road and Halsted Street after delaying the move last month. 


The incentive was on the agenda at the board’s Jan. 22 meeting. Trustee Jay Heiferman raised the idea then of asking the business owner, listed on the renewal application as Waseem Ahmed, to make improvements to the property before the board renewed the measure.


Heiferman cited lights out on the property, landscaping issues and bent median protectors between gas pumps as things that could be improved.

“It’s just things like that that probably never get addressed unless we have a tool to force it,” Heiferman said in January.


At that meeting, Mayor Richard Hofeld told the board it could reach out to the property owners without delaying the renewal. But when he asked for a motion to approve it, none was made. 


The village informed the owner of the desired improvements and all building and canopy lights were fixed, according to village documents. A marquee sign on the south side of the property is also in need or repair. Because that will be expensive, the village has given the Ahmed until April to make the adjustment. 


The owner was also asked to maintain landscaping.


A Class 8 tax incentive allows real estate to be assessed at 10 percent of market value for the first 10 years, 15 percent the 11th year and 20 percent in the 12th year. It can be renewed after the 10th year with the village government’s approval. The incentive is a tool meant to make Cook County properties more competitive with Indiana and collar counties, where taxes are significantly lower.


The owners of the Shell station property estimate annual property taxes without the incentive would be $137,855, according to village documents. The Class 8 reduces that number to $55,142. Before the property was developed in 2007, the vacant parcel paid only $10,000 to $12,500 in property taxes. 


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